A car with severe damage after a car accident

Over 396,000 reported car accidents occurred in Florida in 2022, equalling an average of 1,085 car wrecks daily. In 2021, the states with the highest number of reported car accidents were as follows:

  1. Texas
  2. California
  3. Florida

Unfortunately, the high volume of accidents increases the risk of fatalities. When a person dies in a car accident, the at-fault driver may face criminal charges. Whether they face criminal charges or not, the victim’s family may have grounds to pursue a legal claim. Discussing your case with a car accident lawyer ensures you understand your options and how you can get justice after losing a loved one in a fatal car accident.

Did you lose a loved one in a car accident? Contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys for a free consultation about their wrongful death now.

How many car crash deaths are there per year in Florida? 

In 2022, 3,693 people died in car crashes. This is a slight decrease from the 3,738 car accident fatalities in 2021.

Some counties record notably higher numbers of fatal car accidents than others. In 2022, the counties with the highest number of fatalities were as follows:

  1. Miami-Dade: 354
  2. Broward: 302
  3. Hillsborough: 239
  4. Palm Beach: 238
  5. Orange: 187
  6. Duval: 148
  7. Lee: 148
  8. Volusia: 142
  9. Polk: 141
  10. Pinellas: 129

However, when the rate of fatal car accidents is compared to each county’s population, the Florida counties with the highest car accident deaths per 100,000 residents are as follows:

  1. Lafayette: 89.4
  2. Glades: 69.9
  3. Desoto: 58.2
  4. Dixie: 57.6
  5. Putnam: 50.3
  6. Suwanee: 50.2
  7. Taylor: 47.2
  8. Okeechobee: 44.8 
  9. Hamilton: 43.3
  10. Gilchrist: 41.4

What are the most common causes of fatal car accidents?

The most common causes of car accidents overlap with the most common causes of car crash deaths. Also, the leading contributors to the economic cost of car accidents were among the most common causes of car crash deaths. 

The most common causes of car crash deaths in the U.S.:

  • Impaired driving: Both driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) and driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol qualify as impaired driving. When the use of substances, including alcohol, legal drugs, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs, impairs a driver’s ability to function normally and causes a crash, driving under the influence is the cause. Impaired driving caused 35% of car accidents in the U.S. in 2020. 
  • Speeding: Exceeding the speed limit caused 29% of fatal car accidents in the U.S. in 2020
  • Distracted driving: The 2,974 deaths in distracted driving accidents equals 7.7% of the 38,824 car crash fatalities in the U.S. in 2020

Other common reasons fatal car accidents occur include the following:

  • Driver error
  • Driver fatigue
  • Ignoring traffic signals
  • Overcorrecting and swerving to avoid objects
  • Reckless driving
  • Vehicle defects
  • Weather

Causes of financial costs from car accidents

Car accidents have both human and economic tolls. An evaluation of the financial costs associated with car crashes determined the economic cost of car accidents in 2019 was $340 billion. This figure includes ambulance, legal, medical, insurance, property damage, and work-related expenses from car crashes. That number soars to $1.4 trillion if it includes quality-of-life costs. 

A breakdown of the financial costs compared to the accidents’ causes determined the most common causes of car accidents are as follows:

  • Distracted driving: Distracted driving includes using cell phones or doing anything that takes the driver’s mind off the road or hands off the wheel. Distracted driving was a factor in 29% of the total economic costs of car accidents in 2019. 
  • Alcohol: 20% of the total economic cost of car accidents stemmed from driving under the influence
  • Speeding: Crashes caused by drivers exceeding the speed limit were another notable contributor to the economic cost of car accidents

Common injuries that can result after an accident

Car crash victims can suffer various injuries, including the following:

  • Amputation
  • Broken bones
  • Facial trauma
  • Lacerations
  • Soft tissue injuries

Some of the most severe injuries are catastrophic injuries causing permanent disability, disfigurement, or death. Common injuries causing fatalities include the following:

  • Burns: Although victims may recover from minor burns, burns pose a risk of infection and can be life-threatening
  • Chest and neck injuries: Chest injuries involve the heart and lungs, affecting the victim’s ability to breathe and distribute blood throughout their body. Neck injuries can cause spinal cord injuries (SCIs). Neck and spinal cord injuries can cause paralysis or death. 
  • Internal injuries: Vital organs can be punctured, cut, or bruised during a car accident. Severe internal injuries can cause organ failure or internal bleeding. Without effective treatment, the victim can die from these injuries.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): Head injuries are severe because they can cause permanent brain damage. The brain may bleed or swell because of head trauma, and bleeding or swelling can be fatal. Victims may also suffer permanent brain damage from TBIs.

Can I sue if I have lost a loved one in a car accident? 

You may have grounds to file a legal claim if you lose a loved one in a car accident. Whether you can sue depends on your relationship with the deceased and whether the at-fault driver was negligent. 

Who can sue for wrongful death?

Florida limits who can file a wrongful death lawsuit — the victim’s personal representative must file the lawsuit. However, the personal representative must inform immediate family members about the case. 

Florida law allows the decedent’s spouse and adoptive or blood relatives to participate in the suit. They do not restrict blood relatives by the nature of the relationship; instead, as long as the relative relied on the decedent for personal or financial support, Florida law allows them to participate in the suit.


You must be able to prove the at-fault driver was guilty of negligence and that their negligence caused your loved one’s wrongful death. Suppose your spouse was driving home during a windstorm. A piece of sheet metal blew into the road and struck a vehicle. The force of the impact sent that vehicle into its neighboring lane, and it struck your spouse’s vehicle, claiming their life in a fatal car accident. You may have grounds to sue a construction company or another party if they failed to secure the sheet metal; however, you may not have legal grounds for a claim against the other driver because their negligence did not cause the accident.

Suppose a drunk driver struck your spouse’s vehicle after running a red light, causing their death. In that case, you can argue that their choice to break the law by driving under the influence caused your spouse’s death. Since breaking the law could qualify as gross negligence, you may have grounds to sue the at-fault driver and seek punitive damages in addition to economic and non-economic damages. 

Depending on the circumstances, you may also have a case against the bartender or retailer who provided the alcohol. Hiring a wrongful death attorney is the best way to ensure all liable parties are identified when you’re filing your lawsuit.

Contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, if you have lost a loved one in a car accident

A wrongful death attorney writing in a notebook at his desk. Next to him is a stack of books, the scales of justice, a clipboard and a gavel.

Florida allows victims two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Navigating a lawsuit can be frustrating and confusing for those without a legal background; contacting Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, will give you peace of mind because you can be confident our expert legal team will take all the steps required to get you the justice you deserve.

We understand the personal and financial impact of losing a loved one in a wrongful death. We gather evidence to build a compelling case to help Tampa-area victims get fair compensation after their loved one’s wrongful death.

Were you injured in a car accident? Contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys now.


Bieber, C. (2023). Car Accident Statistics For 2023.

Deaths From Motor Vehicle Crashes. (2023). 

Fatality Facts 2021 State by State. (2023). 

Mohn, T. (2023). Traffic Crashes Cost U.S. $340 Billion a Year, That’s $230 In Taxes For Every Household

Number of road traffic-related injuries and fatalities in the U.S. from 1990 to 2020. (2024).

Tampa Car Accident + Personal Injury Lawyers

Jack Bernstein Personal Injury Attorney

For more than 40 years, personal injury lawyer Jack G. Bernstein has protected the rights of individuals who have been injured in a variety of circumstances. Throughout his career, Bernstein has been a strategist thoroughly dedicated to the idea of protecting the rights of his clients. Mr. Bernstein is a member of the Florida State Bar Association, the Hillsborough Bar Association and the Clearwater Bar Association.

Mr. Bernstein has the experience and expertise to handle a wide range of injury cases. Among the types of plaintiffs Mr. Bernstein represents are individuals involved in car accidents caused by drunk drivers or other exhibiting negligence, medical complications resulting from carelessness caused by a physician or a medical facility, including brain injury, bicycle, motorcycle, moped and truck accidents, admiralty law and cruise ship accidents, accidental drownings, all types of wrongful death lawsuits, along with most injury, catastrophic occurrences and legal malpractice issues.

Our firm handles every type of personal injury and accident case, using negotiation and litigation tactics effectively. We handle cases throughout Tampa, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, FL. With a staff of approximately 40 people, including six lawyers and 34 support personnel, we have the legal resources to get the justice you deserve and the maximum recovery for your losses. Schedule your free consultation today; we are always here to help.

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